Senior United Nations relief officials working on the front lines of the conflict in Syria stressed today that only a political solution will end the five-year war, insisting that humanitarians have been doing all that they can to assist millions of desperate people who have lost nearly everything and are “now beginning to lose hope that the world cares.”
“The failure in Syria is most definitely not the humanitarian organizations’ failure, it is a political failure,” John Ging, the Operations Director for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in Geneva at a press briefing. “That is why we are now looking, with great hope, for this political process to do what is needed, which is to deliver us a solution which will end the conflict and put people back on the track and the path which they deserve,” he added, referring to the intra-Syrian talks scheduled to begin on Friday in the Swiss city.
Describing their work as “heroic,” Mr. Ging said the heads of the Syrian offices of OCHA, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) –Yaacoub El Hillo, Hanna Singer, and Elisabeth Hoff respectively – work with many colleagues who risk their lives on a daily basis to help others, leading convoys into conflict zones.
Last night in the north of the country, another humanitarian worker lost his life due to an explosive device hitting his vehicle, bringing the total of humanitarian workers killed in the conflict to over 85.
UNICEF says Syria is now probably the most dangerous place on Earth to be a child.
[UN News Centre]